Counselling, psychotherapy and supervision in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
I am a psychotherapist and counsellor with a private practice in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. I am a senior therapist at the 'Mindtalk' group in Market Harborough, and also provide professional group or individual supervision to other therapists. I work with sensitivity and respect together with you, to offer help in the face of particular problems or the most prolonged and intense difficulties.
For example, I work with the following issues:
Stress and anxiety
Problems with confidence, self-esteem
Dealing with loss
Family and parenting difficulties
Problems at work
Eating disorders, self harm
Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress
Unresolved issues from the past, abuse
Dreams and nightmares
I provide caring and sensitive counselling and psychotherapy for a wide range of problems and blocks and use psychotherapy for growth and life's enhancement. My approach is transpersonal and integrative, including the use of EMDR when appropriate - see the FAQ page for an explanation. You can see a video of me introducing myself on YouTube.
Counselling and Psychotherapy during this time of Coronavirus
I am working face to face whenever possible, in my rooms in Market Harborough. If you are shielding or experiencing symptoms I can continue to work with you online.
Whichever remote communication method is used, it is very important to provide yourself with a completely private, indoor, secure location for the session, one where you know that you will not be disturbed, distracted or concerned about being overheard. A car in a public space is not secure enough. It helps if you are able to be hands free - so to use a laptop, or prop your phone on a surface so you don’t have to hold it throughout the session. Check that devices are fully charged or plugged in. Where consistent wifi speed is a problem, I have found using 4G with FaceTime very reliable.
Give me a call if you would like to discuss how we might work together.
If you live or work in Leicester, Northampton or near Market Harborough in Leicestershire and are interested in counselling or psychotherapy, supervision or EMDR, to discuss how I might be able to help you please contact me and I will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.
My approach is guided by you, and depends on trust in the relationship. Sometimes therapy looks like 'just talking' - although a great deal is going on in that process, with the client doing most of the talking as they explore their thoughts and feelings about the issues they bring.
As counsellor and psychotherapist in Market Harborough between Leicester and Northampton my practice is located in discreet cosy rooms with easy parking right in the town center.
Below I outline two other aspects of the way I sometimes work.
Working through body awareness
Increasingly, I have become convinced that an effective, gentle and profound way to access real and permanent change is through working with the way feelings and traumatic reactions become trapped in the body. Many of us go through life in the mistaken belief that the key to control how we feel is by the power of our rational mind. However our mind-body link is much more complex than this. By gently guiding the client to bring sensations to awareness as they are sharing their thoughts and feelings, and working with them positively it is possible to create release from trauma which may have unconsciously been trapped for years. How this looks is like the client simply sitting in their chair, concentrating on the sensations in their body, and sharing with, being watched and guided by the therapist. The release of previously trapped feeling is experienced as a sense of gentle expansion, of awareness of the wider room and the world outside in Market Harborough, and a shift to lightness of mood, pleasant humour and a sense of connection both inside the self, and to the therapist and others. There is a wealth of neurological research - polyvagal theory is one angle, Somatic Experiencing another - to explain and support why and how this works.
Working with dreams and images
Have a look at my Articles and Workshops page to read about the value of working with dreams. Their powerful images, feelings, and their freedom from the 'sense' imposed by your consious self offer a way to connect with yourself - that 'aha! awareness - that we simply can't gain by ourselves or with the aid of books. The purpose is not to impose a generalised meaning, but instead to find the meaning that is unique to the individual, through exploring by way of the dreamer's own associations. Often the deep meaning is accessed by making contact with with the essence of feeling in the dream. When a deeper level of connection with self is made, change happens.
I regularly run a series of experiential workshops for counsellors and therapists in Market Harborough and Little Venice, Central London, on Working with Dreams.
Endorsements: "Brilliant day, enjoyed it, left feeling uplifted, not overwhelmed. Pace of day was just right." "Really enjoyed the day and powerful learning", "Stimulating and valuable content, practical and helpful in my work", "Very useful content. Great to put into practise.
Do enquire if you would like to know more. For counsellors and psychotherapists and those in training.
Working with Sandtray and Symbols
I also offer Sandtray therapy for adults. This is a creative, gentle and profound way of exploring our our life experiences, how we are feeling, our inner world and our relationship with ourselves and others. When the sandtray is used change happens.
There is a collection of miniature figures and objects from fantasy, nature, spirituality and mysticism and real life. The sand itself can be used wet or dry, moved or moulded into shape or left almost untouched. A story can be created, an experience revisited, a problem explored, an idea or feeling expressed. Situations are often seen afresh; blocks give way. There are no rights or wrongs or judgements with this way of working: it an often feel creative or playful. No skill is needed - anyone can do it, and everyone can benefit from this approach, old or young.
It brings together the work of the early psychoanalysts with the most recent neuroscience breakthroughs in understanding how the body and mind are interlinked. I am always amazed and moved by what emerges through ‘work’ in the Sandtray.
The Power of Relationship in Therapy
Scientific research increasingly indicates that there are sound neurological reasons why, for helping us work through and resolve states of high arousal and intensely uncomfortable emotion, human interaction itself is a practical and effective therapy.
Many people have been extensively traumatised in their childhood by their family experience. One aspect of the damaging effects can be that many find themselves stuck or out of control in their ability to express their feelings because they were not supported in that process in early life. For whatever reasons of their own, their parents consistently shamed, abandoned or attacked them for expressing their emotions.
As a result, whenever the adult has the urge to say how they feel, their inner critic steps in and, with self-contempt, kills off their instinct to express themselves. At an early age their voice was silenced and often along with it the ability even to recognise what they were really feeling. The feelings became buried somewhere deep within, disconnected from the other functions.
Another way this damage may manifest is when a person finds themselves completely overcome and ruled by their emotions, to the extent that they are unable to use their thinking function at all, and unable to name what they are experiencing – it simply IS, and it overwhelms the body and mind.
So a fundamental aspect of counselling and psychotherapy is to provide the conditions whereby the client may recognise, name and express not only what they are thinking, but also what they are feeling and experiencing in their body. Notice I say ‘may recognise’ – often this aspect of the work is most challenging and takes a long time to even begin. The defences against the risk of shame, abandonment and attack are justifiably going to be high. Hence simultaneously the work will involve recognising the client’s inner critic and how it works to sabotage freedom and change.
How do we provide those conditions that support the repair of damaged feeling processes? Through trust, the co-operation and interaction between client and therapist, through compassionate reflection and responding, mirroring and authentically shared experience of the matter at hand, of the moment itself in the body, mind and emotions. It sounds so simple: in healthy parenting and upbringing it is natural. Yet when it fails, the damage is deep and so harmful because it sabotages the person’s ability to know what they feel in the moment, and to experience a sense of ease and connection both within themselves and with others.
What this might look like in the therapy room is the client, trusting the therapist and feeling safe, in a painful remembering of some situation from the past. They are in a state of contraction as they talk about it, express their complex response to it, they may feel very much their younger self – full of hurt, angry, outraged, painful grieving. The therapist meanwhile is openly receiving, hearing, responding, reflecting and compassionate. As the therapist is thinking, feeling, fully present and processing the client’s experience with them, a process of integration and of transformation can happen.
The client may then shift back into a sense of expansion, feel more aware of the present moment, of the room, the world outside in the street, and feel more connection with the therapist. And this in turn may be followed by a refreshing sense of lightness, a sense of pleasant (not sarcastic or undermining) humour expressed with a joke, relief and pleasantness. The patterns of neural activity will have been loosened, trapped energy will have been released and the client will experience this as new energy, a sense of freedom and flow. All this is achieved through the process of therapeutic relationship.
This Month's Blog: Solace
Solace is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or of one another, often in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments. Solace is what we must look for when the mind cannot bear the pain, the loss or the suffering that eventually touches every life and every endeavor; when longing does not come to fruition in a form we can recognize, when people we know and love disappear, when hope must take a different form than the one we have shaped for it.
Solace is the spacious, imaginative home we make where disappointment goes to be welcomed and rehabilitated. When life does not in any way add up, we must turn to the part of us that has never wanted a life of simple calculation.
Solace is found in allowing the body’s innate foundational wisdom to come to the fore, a part of us that already knows it is mortal and must take its leave like everything else, and leads us, when the mind cannot bear what it is seeing or hearing, to the birdsong in the tree above our heads, even as we are being told of a death, each note an essence of morning and of mourning; of the current of a life moving on, but somehow, also, and most beautifully, carrying, bearing, and even celebrating the life we have just lost. - A life we could not see or appreciate until it was taken from us –
To be consoled is to be invited onto the terrible ground of beauty upon which our inevitable disappearance stands, to a voice that does not soothe falsely, but touches the epicenter of our pain or articulates the essence of our loss, and then emancipates us into the privilege of both life and death as an equal birthright.
Solace is not an evasion, nor a cure for our suffering, nor a made up state of mind. Solace is a direct seeing and participation; a celebration of the beautiful coming and going, appearance and disappearance of which we have always been a part. Solace is not meant to be an answer, but an invitation, through the door of pain and difficulty, to the depth of suffering and simultaneous beauty in the world that the strategic mind by itself cannot grasp nor make sense of.
To look for solace is to learn to ask fiercer and more exquisitely pointed questions, questions that reshape our identities and our bodies and our relation to others. Standing in loss but not overwhelmed by it, we become useful and generous and compassionate and even more amusing companions for others. But solace also asks us very direct and forceful questions. Firstly, how will you bear the inevitable loss that will accompany you? And how will you endure it through the years? And above all, how will you shape a life equal to and as beautiful and as astonishing as a world that can birth you, bring you into the light and then just as you were beginning to understand it, take you away?
My counselling and psychotherapy, supervision and EMDR are based in Market Harborough in Leicestershire within easy reach of Leicester, Northampton, Peterborough, Kettering, Corby, Uppingham, Melton Mowbray, Oakham and Rutland.
BACP registered counsellor and psychotherapist – UKCP accredited